Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Get on the Floor

All it takes is for David to play the music on his iPod and our living room - or garage, depending on where we are - turns into American Bandstand (remember that one, kids? Dick Clark? Maybe I should've said So You Think You Can Dance?).

I'll scoop up Sawyer or Sage, if Xander isn't already being carried, of course, and we'll start spinning and booty shaking and raising the roof. Xander is a big fan of the snake.

Meanwhile, David's usually doing the robot (either that, or he's having a seizure, tough to tell) and the kids scream and try to make up moves of their own.

The soundtrack? Almost always Michael Jackson. Old school, before he turned all weird.

I got to see Michael Jackson in concert during his Victory tour back in 1984. My family was visiting my grandfather in Philadelphia and MJ happened to be in town. My sister, brother and I were lucky enough to get tickets, and even though the seats were far from the action, we still shrieked every time he moon walked, or tilted his hat, grabbed his crotch or pretty much did anything.

So yeah, I watched his memorial service the other day. From my house. I wasn't at Neverland Ranch, sobbing into my old concert tee shirt. Still, I admit to being a little sad that he's gone

I mean, he was a total freak, but in a tragic sort of way. I always thought that the stuff with little boys was because Michael simply saw himself as a little boy. He really didn't get why it was inappropriate, to say nothing of possibly illegal, to have slumber parties with children. To him, it was innocent.

After all the abuse at the hands of his father, AND being so famous so young, what kind of childhood did he really have? Maybe among children is where he felt safest. Now, if he molested any of these boys, then of course there's no excuse. None.

The speakers at his memorial, from Queen Latifah to Brooke Shields to Magic Johnson all portrayed Michael as not just a musical icon who broke barriers for African Americans (he was the first to have videos on MTV), or someone who is in the Guiness Book of World Records for the massive amount of money he's donated to charity, but as, simply, a nice, nice guy.

I've been reading facebook posts and of course the comments from that senator about how the world is now glorifying a pedophile - and we should instead be honoring all our servicemen and women who are off fighting.

It occured to me that we did honor them by voting Bush the hell out of office and electing Barack Obama. That says a TON for how much Americans care about our men and women in Iraq and Afghanistan. We want them home and out of this senseless, ridiculous war.

I'm sure if Elvis Presley had died during the age of internet and 24-hour news stations, the coverage would've been the same. That's just how things are now, right or wrong. It's a circus. I just choose to remember what his music means to me and roll my eyes at the rest.

We can never understand what it was like to be Michael Jackson, as his brother Marlon pointed out in his closing statement. But we can understand how we feel when we hear his music, as we swing around our children and listen to them shriek in delight.

And remember, he was a father, too.

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